Leveraging Nectar’s UCMP for SBC’s Solution to Optimize Skype for Business User Experience Via On-Premises PSTN

Industry Trend: Moving to Cloud

In case you have been offline for the past few years, everything is moving to the cloud. Virtually everything.  Moving applications to the cloud promises increased flexibility, scalability, reliability and accessibility with decreased management costs.  Many enterprises are trying to achieve exponential benefits by moving their UC platforms to the cloud.

Microsoft’s Entry: Cloud PBX

Cloud-based UC solutions, like Microsoft’s Office 365 Cloud PBX, combine UC’s promise of increased efficiency, productivity and business agility with the inherent advantages of a cloud deployment. Microsoft’s offer is unique because it integrates collaboration and communications into the Office experience that users leverage every day.  The familiarity of Office and Skype for Business help drive adoption throughout an organization.

The 3 Domains of A Cloud Deployment

Although moving your UC deployment to the cloud does remove a lot of the administrative burden, it adds some complexity in terms of traversing multiple domains. The servers and licenses reside in the hosting domain (Microsoft for O365), but the users and their devices reside in the customer domain.  To add further excitement, connectivity between the customer and Microsoft domains pass through the transport domain, which can be a variety of carriers that connect the customer domain to Microsoft.  Each domain has a different responsible party that is accountable:

The 3 Domains of A Cloud Deployment

Although enterprises can enjoy the benefits of shifting a lot of responsibility to Microsoft, this topology does not remove the customer from responsibility for their own domain. Further, three different domains, each with its own accountability, can add to finger pointing and make diagnostics/troubleshooting more complicated.

A Hybrid Option: Cloud PBX with On-premises PSTN Connectivity

For those enterprises that are not ready to move their PSTN connectivity to Office365, Microsoft offers on-premises PSTN connectivity. There are numerous advantages to maintaining local SIP trunks, but as with hosting, there are also additional complexities. For many enterprises, the carrier providing cloud connectivity is not the same carrier that is providing SIP trunks, so with local trunks you have added a 4th domain (SIP Carrier) and a 4th responsible party (the SIP carrier).

A Hybrid Option: Cloud PBX with On-premises PSTN Connectivity

Defending The Edge: SIP Provider

To avoid finger-pointing, the enterprise has to defend their edge. In other words, they have to demonstrate, with data, that any voice quality issues are not being caused within their domain.  The only way to truly accomplish this is to bracket the demarcation point between their domain and the transport and SIP domains. With this post, we’ll focus on defending the edge with the SIP Carrier domain. With Nectar’s UC Diagnostics technology bracketing the SBC’s providing local SIP trunk connectivity, we can identify and correlate SIP signaling errors that could be impacting user experience. SBC’s are a critical component of a SIP trunk deployment because they sit on the border between the private enterprise network and the public Internet network to help control the signaling and media streams for VoIP traffic.   When we bracket an SBC, we investigate traffic coming from both environments (public and private), enabling us to identify which environment has the impaired traffic and to correlate poor calls with the associated signaling.  For a real life example of Nectar using bracketing to solve a problem in one day that an enterprise could not solve after 7 months, see our blog post:

Defending The Edge: SIP Provider

While Microsoft is taking care of your Skype for Business users, Nectar will help you make sure their calls reach the outside world.

Introducing Nectar’s UCMP For SBC’s Offer

When the focus is less about the users and more about the SIP trunks, Nectar offers UCMP for SBC’s.  This offer leverages our UC Diagnostics and UC Foundation modules to provide IT professionals with complete visibility into the performance.  Together, these modules monitor the performance of Session Border Controllers (SBCs), while also providing signaling and media analysis for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) sessions.

The Edge Defended.